The medieval world of Eberron is a place of magic and monsters, where arcane energy infuses the landscape and greatly influences society and industry. Thanks to a mastery of the arcane arts, the great cities of the continent of Khorvaire contain skyscraping castles, elemental-powered coaches and carriages, and all manner of enchanted conveniences. Magic is industry across the face of Eberron, the innovative spark that propels society forward. The advances and conveniences made possible by magic augment the trappings of a medieval D&D world. Magic and the arcane arts allow for effects that in some ways mimic technological marvels that didn’t appear in our world until the 1800s. Something resembling a magical telegraph provides communication between two locations. An arcane analog of the railroad connects defined routes among the more civilized regions of the world. Magic exists to accomplish tasks otherwise impossible—if you can find the right spell wielder and you have enough gold to pay for the privilege.
As the campaign begins, the world of Eberron is emerging from a long and devastating war. The nations of the continent of Khorvaire were once part of a great kingdom of legend, the mighty kingdom of Galifar. When King Jarot died, his five heirs, each in command of one of the Five Nations that comprised the kingdom, refused to bow to tradition. Instead of allowing the eldest scion to take the crown, the siblings rallied their vassals and individually vied to take control of the kingdom. Over time, this decades long conflict became known as the Last War, for everyone imagined that when it finally ended, the taste for bloodshed and battle would be wiped from the face of Khorvaire.
The Last War continued for more than a century, with each of the Five Nations alternately fighting against or alongside one or more of the others as animosities and alliances shifted like the wind in the Shargon Straits. In time, other nations formed as deals were made and opportunities presented themselves. After 102 years of fighting, the leaders of the recognized nations of Khorvaire (which now numbered twelve) met at the ancient capital of Galifar to draft a peace. With the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold, the Last War came to an end.
Today, the nations of Khorvaire seek to rebuild and prosper as the new peace spreads across the land. While technically at peace, the nations continue to vie for economic and political supremacy. Minor skirmishes break out every so often, especially in the more remote sections of the continent and on the most hotly contested borders. Espionage and sabotage are the preferred method of diplomacy, since the nations engage in trade and discussion in public while working intrigues and double-crosses in the shadows.
THE TONE OF EBERRON
The features that most set Eberron apart are its tone and attitude. The setting combines traditional medieval fantasy with pulp action and dark adventure. Make no mistake—the world of Eberron proudly takes its place among the D&D worlds that have come before, with a cinematic fl air and an eye toward the best action-adventure movies ever filmed. The campaign’s story elements were designed with this in mind, and we also built it into the game mechanics with the introduction of action points into the D&D game.
The world of Eberron has a rich history built on heroic deeds, evolving magic, and the wounds of a long, devastating war. In the wake of this Last War, action, adventure, good, evil, and a thousand shades of gray paint the landscape in broad, powerful strokes, and ancient mysteries await discovery so that they too can influence the world and its people.
Magic is built into the very fabric of the setting. It pervades and influences everyday life. It provides certain comforts and conveniences unknown in either the modern world or any world of medieval fantasy. Great cities where castles scrape the sky can be found throughout the continent of Khorvaire, and a thriving aristocracy of merchant families controls much of the world’s economy thanks to the edge given them by the mysterious and rare dragonmarks.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, all classes and races. They travel the world, battling villains and recovering fabulous treasure, dealing with over-the-top action, harrowing challenges, cliffhanger situations, narrow escapes, and ominous mysteries that are as likely to shed light on centuries of secrets as they are to threaten the safety of the current day.
The tone provides a portion of what sets this campaign apart from other D&D worlds, and this tone was fi rst and foremost in mind as we built the complex tapestry that is the EBERRON campaign setting. Even so, it is a “same but different” approach that allows us to make elements of the new campaign attractive to all D&D players—you can pick up EBERRON products and drop large pieces of them into whatever D&D campaign you happen to be playing with minimal, if any, adjustments.
(Taken Directly from ECS)